The funerals of the four victims of last night’s Palestinian terrorist attack, all residents of Beit Haggai in southern Judea, will be held this morning. The victims were shot dead on the busy Highway 60, used by both Israelis and Palestinian Authority settlers, just south of Hevron.
The four will be eulogized outside the central synagogue in Beit Haggai, from where the funerals will leave to three different cemeteries in Jerusalem, Ashdod and Petah Tikvah. Among those eulogizing the four are Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin.
Yitzchak and Talia Imas will be buried in the ancient Mt. of Olives cemetery opposite the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Their home was a heart-breaking sight last night and this morning, where six orphans aged 2 to 24 were gathered: Daniel (married with a six-month-old son), Ruth, Ariel, Hodaya, Ruhama and Oz-David. Talia was in her ninth month of pregnancy.
A friend and neighbor of the family, Yehuda Glick, related last night with tears in his eyes: “I have known them for over 20 years, even when they were still in Moscow, having discovered Judaism and working for Aliyah. They came to Israel, to Gush Etzion, 19 years ago, with a sense of national mission for the Jewish People… They were gentle, regal people… He was a man of letters, who published a book last year on the Shiltei Giborim – though he also worked with his hands, gardening and the like; Talia was an accountant, and together they educated their family, six children and she was pregnant… In recent years, Yitzchak dedicated much time to the Temple Mount, studying by heart all the relevant works in the Mishna and the Rambam. He used to go up to the holy site every week; this morning he went to the Temple Mount, and this evening he ascended to the Throne of Glory…”
“It is truly heart-breaking… The Holy One, Blessed be He, has plucked here some real angels, gentle of soul with true ideals and direction… They discovered Torah on their own, the Land of Israel on their own, the ideals of settling and building the land, and truly with their own two hands, on their own, brought up such a beautiful family. The heart really breaks to think of this…”
“A few months ago, the Prosecution decided to take away his gun… Recently they removed some of the checkpoints, and tomorrow we can expect that there will be more ‘good will gestures’ [as a result of Netanyahu’s trip to Washington – ed.], and we just stand here and cannot understand, cannot understand… How?”
Kokhava Even-Chaim, 37, who taught in Efrat, is survived by her husband Maimon – a Zaka volunteer who discovered that his wife was one of the victims when he arrived on the scene to offer help – and an 8-year-old daughter. She will be buried in Ashdod.
Avishai Shindler, 24, newly-married and a recent arrival to Beit Haggai, will be buried in the Segulah cemetery in Petah Tikva.
Beit Haggai has had its share of terrorist murders in the past. Rina Didovsky was murdered in 2000, and teenager Avichai Levy and Yossi Shok in separate roadside shooting attacks five years later. Beit Haggai itself was named for three of the six victims of the Beit Hadassah shooting attack in May 1980; Haggai is an acronym for Chanan (Krauthammer), Gershon (Klein), and Yaakov (Tzimmerman), three students of Yeshivat Nir Kiryat Arba. Tzvi Glatt, Eli HaZe’ev and Shmuel Marmelstein were also murdered in that attack.
The Victims of Arab Terror organization said it had begun initial steps into suing the Government of Israel for "having taking away the gun of Yitzchak Imas, which might have been able to save his life and that of the other victims."
The National Council of Young Israel said in a statement that the attack "is a stark and painful reminder that the PA is incapable of being a true partner in peace. While the Palestinian leadership is telling the United States and the world what it believes they want to hear, its citizens are simultaneously carrying out carefully planned and premeditated acts of terror against innocent men, women, and children."